25 Years Later: Remembering the Saturday Night Massacre

Tony Barnes By Tony Barnes, 7th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Sports>Football (American)

I will never forget the Saturday Night Massacre...the night we learned our beloved Dallas Cowboys had been sold and that our highly esteemed coach had been fired.


If you mention the Saturday Night Massacre to people in Washington DC, they will think of a date in 1973 involving Richard Nixon’s actions that were part of the pattern of behavior that would eventually lead to him leaving Washington DC as a disgraced president. But, mention the Saturday Night Massacre to a person from Texas and if they are at least 40 years old they will remember a night in 1989. It was that night we learned the beloved Dallas Cowboys had been sold to a man named Jerry Jones.

We didn’t give too much thought as to who Jerry Jones was and what his impact on the Cowboys would soon reveal. We had survived the selling and buying of our team by mean such as Clint Murchison Jr. and Bum Bright. But, what shocked us all was the firing of legendary coach Tom Landry. For those that aren’t from Texas, you may not grasp the giant this man actually was to natives of the Lone Star State. Not only was Landry the coach of America’s Team…he was a father figure to many.

Many of us had been very vocal that we thought it was time for Landry to resign. His last season at the helm resulted in a 3-13 record. We wanted him to resign and ride into the sunset. But, when the obnoxiously arrogant Jerry Jones plotted with Jimmy Johnson to fire Landry in Landry’s favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, we were insulted on behalf of our esteemed football coach. Not only was Landry a World War II veteran, he had been the coach of the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years.

Surely, the coach of coaches deserved better treatment than for Jerry Jones to fly down to a golf course in Austin, Texas to confront Tom Landry with a pink slip. It was a horrible weekend to be a fan of America’s Team. It was unconscionable. Jerry Jones would later induct Tom Landry into the Dallas Cowboy Ring of Honor which I hope brought a degree of peace between Jerry Jones and Tom Landry. It’s still hard to believe Tom Landry is dead. He passed away from leukemia in 2000. But, his memory will always remain in the hearts and minds of those that love America’s Team…the Dallas Cowboys.


Austin, Bum Bright, Circle Of Honor, Clint Murchison Jr, Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, Saturday Night Massacre, Tom Landry

Meet the author

author avatar Tony Barnes
I am a native Texan who spent 3 years in the Marine Corps Reserves and 25 years on active duty in the Air Force. I have been a Christian since 1985 and am an ordained minister. I am conservative politically and love to study history. I publish a mont...(more)

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